ST. ANTHONY — The small signs may seem insignificant to some, but to a group of Madison County teenagers, they are a constant reminder of their two friends tragically killed in a crash last month.
On Wednesday morning, the group of boys, along with the families of Teagen Bradshaw and Tanner Nicols, officials, and many others gathered at a railroad crossing on U.S. 20 to install ‘EXEMPT’ signs.
Teagen and Tanner died after rear-ending a Kenworth fuel tanker stopped at the crossing in St. Anthony on Aug. 7.
Within days of their deaths, Bridger Vickers, Bridger Stoddard, Dawson Jensen, Mason Flanary and Briar Leishman decided to do something to try and make the intersection safer in honor of their friends.
After connecting with numerous organizations, including Eastern Idaho Railroad and the Idaho Transportation Department, the boys ended up meeting with Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter when he visited Sugar City as part of his “Capitol for a Day” tour. They asked Otter to exempt large vehicles and busses from stopping at the railroad crossing unless a train is coming.
The boys were invited to help install the signs and were surprised to see a large crowd turn out for the event.
“I thought it was just gonna be us five guys and the families but there was vehicles lined up,” Bridger Vickers says. “Friends and family and distant family – all those people came. It turned out to be a lot bigger ordeal than any of us ever expected. It was awesome to see the love and support.”
The boys will share more about their experience in getting the exemption passed so quickly Sunday on East Idaho Newsmakers.